WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Revelations that National Security Agency (NSA) officials took part in interrogations at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay indicated that the entire US intelligence apparatus was involved in illegal practices, ex-Judge Advocate General lawyer Todd Pierce told Sputnik.
"This shows that our entire intelligence community with no exceptions corrupted itself with illegal activity," Pierce, a historian and expert on military law said on Thursday.
According to internal NSA Signals Intelligence Directorate documents released by former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden this week, NSA personnel participated with US military and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay detention center.
The newly released documents confirming NSA participation in the secret interrogations "should destroy any remaining credibility they might have for respecting the law: domestic or international," Pierce, a retired US Army major, stated.
Pierce maintained that the principles of the rule of law and the provisions to protect individual freedom in the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights had been rendered obsolete by the policies of recent US presidents, including Barack Obama.
"Why do you apply the archaic principles of ‘legal’ and ‘constitutional’… about [the activities of] our intelligence services?" Pierce asked. "Neither applied to this issue as two successive administrations have argued in multiple forums, including the courts."
In one of the released Signals Intelligence Directorate documents, an NSA liaison reported working with the Joint Interrogation Group to extract information from detainees. The interrogation, the document claimed, was "strategic" and "tactical."
In June 2013, Snowden leaked classified information online, revealing global surveillance programs run by US intelligence services. Snowden is wanted by the United States on charges of theft of government property and espionage.
The CIA’s internal watchdog inadvertently deleted its only copy of the Senate report on torture techniques employed by the agency in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and did so while the Justice Department was insisting in court that copies were being stored.